With classes officially over, and only graduation remaining, my two years at Wisconsin are coming to a close. The people I’ve met, the things I’ve learned, and the memories I’ve made, are all part of the Wisconsin real estate experience, and both happy and sad to go forward as an alumnus. After two years of documenting this experience to you, readers, I leave with a few final thoughts on the real estate program, and UW as a whole.
Real estate is about establishing connections. We network, and are taught “the art of the small ask” early in the program. From the first networking event with local alumni, to the Graaskamp Center Spring Board Conference in Chicago, we make connections with those in the industry doing interesting work, and those in communities involved in real estate processes. At its core, real estate is about solving problems, for those who need space, and for those wishing to invest, and we connect with all because nobody can do this alone. This is a cyclical industry, and people switch companies and positions frequently. It helps to have people on your side, and this program helps put people in your corner. This is why we network.
Real estate students travel. With such a vibrant alumni group, academic center, and national and international professional organizations, we attend a lot of conferences. Sometimes the topics of discussion repeat, but the panelists and speakers always bring their personal perspectives. This exposure from CEOs, top economists, and legendary industry figures, is why we go to these events. Chicago, New York, Washington DC, Denver, Seattle, Atlanta, Hong Kong, and France. You can’t attend it all, and maintain a sense of calm in keeping up with the schoolwork, so you may have to pick and choose. Some travel is mandatory, however, but you really can’t complain when you’re meeting with a top global investment manager on his rented yacht in Cannes, France at MIPIM, the world’s largest real estate conference. Good times…
Finally, UW students are proud. Proud of receiving a top education, and proud of being a part of a larger community. This obviously comes across during football season, but also in the academics. This is the highest ranked public real estate program in the country, and we work hard for that title. We get the job done, but do so humbled by the fact that we’re members of a larger community. We’re all Badgers!
I’m proud I had the opportunity to study here, and although I’m happy to graduate, I’m sad to be leaving Madison. Grainger Hall has been my home for the past 18 months, and my classmates and professors, my extended family. But at some point, we all must grow-up and enter the “real world.” Today, I’m better prepared to excel in that real world, because of my time as a real estate student at UW-Madison. All the best to all!